I hate to read. Did you know that about me? Yep. Hate. Passionately. Of course, I don’t hate to read everything… I mean, I’ll read street signs, the tv guide, the occasional blog (especially if it’s a crafting blog!), and those sorts of things, but sitting down to read a book just does NOT happen. No matter how good it is. Maybe it’s a busy-ness factor, I don’t know. But as a result, getting into the word of God has always been a struggle.
Not so much anymore, though. Last year, our pastor had an amazing series called “The Holy Bible” that was all about why God made this book for us, how it’s more than a book, and why we want to read it. It sounds cheesy when I describe it but trust me, it was anything but. It inspired me to start reading my bible. I decided on a bible in a year reading plan where I would read the bible chronologically. Well, I got 15% of the way through the bible over the course of that year — being pregnant makes it hard to get ANYTHING done — but that 15% taught me a TON. And I don’t think any of it was “theology.”
One of the things it taught me was that God still speaks to us. I mean, God has spoken to me in many ways, but when I got into His Word, it was amazing. Did you ever think God could say something relevant to you through Abraham’s story? Yeah. Or give you a word for another person/couple through the book of Genesis? Really — Genesis?! Totally. Or wake you up in the middle of the night with an overwhelming desire to pray over your husband? It was like, picking up this “book” was giving God a key to my soul. A rusty key that had been sitting in a cobwebbed corner waiting to be given back to the lover of my soul… and all I had to do was spend that 10 minutes before bed in my YouVersion app instead of my Facebook app. And whoa, what He did with it.
Another thing I think I learned was that the Bible doesn’t always make sense on paper, but it always makes sense. Yes, I realize that sounds illogical, but I can’t think of a better way to explain it. I would read my bible and think “I don’t understand what this is trying to say” or “I don’t understand why this is important,” but that wasn’t what mattered. It didn’t matter if the English translation made no more sense to me than if I were reading it in the original Greek; what mattered, I think, was that I took the time to read and contemplate the word of God, and He made it relevant. He made it speak to me. He made it real.
Lastly, I learned that God’s Word is God’s Word. It’s interesting, it’s entertaining, it’s educational. I found myself sifting through maps to see where God led the Israelites. I found myself talking to my husband about God. I found myself having a reverence for God that I had never really had before… and it was all beautiful. I felt connected in a way I don’t even know how to begin explaining… and it wasn’t because I was reading a bible plan with someone — I wasn’t. It was just this work God was doing in me as a result of me reading his Word… even through the ‘boring’ parts.
So, I’ve already confessed that I didn’t read the bible in a year. I believe it was 15.3% according to YouVersion (my incredible FREE Bible app.) And I still got THAT much out of it. Yeah.
Well, this year, my husband and I are reading the Bible together. In a year. Canonical. (Front to Back.) We both sit in our bed once the kids are down, before we do anything else, and we pull out our iPhone/iPad and we read. And we will finish it in a year. And we’ll do something else next year. Because God is dwelling in this book, and when I read this book, it reminds me that he doesn’t wanna be trapped in a book — He wants to dwell in ME. And I definitely want Him there 🙂
I’m falling in love with God all over again. And this time, it’s not because He saved me. Not because he brought me out of the mud and the muck. Not because if He hadn’t chased me down I’d probably be dead by now… All those things are true, but I’m falling in love, now, with WHO God IS. And He is pretty amazing.